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I ate so much food in the Philippines in my month traveling around the country it's a wonder I still fit in my pants when I got to back to Thailand. With Chinese, Mexican, Spanish, and American influences, Filipino cuisine is richer and meatier than much of the food I ate around the rest of Asia and a far cry from Thai food and Vietnamese fare. The Filipino dishes I ate were were so rich, in fact, that one of my final meals in the country was a much-desired salad. I was lucky enough to spend my first and last few...

I had wanted to do another island hopping tour while I was in Palawan, and so, when I found out my new Icelandic friends were doing tour C (there were four different set tours that everyone offered), I invited myself along. It was an incredibly fun day, with much better weather than the last. We explored a secret beach where you had to swim in scary waves through a little jagged rock entrance to find a secluded paradise. We did handstands in the sand...

We all felt like shit that morning. The night before our hostel was burglarized. And there was nothing we could do about it. We still went on the tour we had planned for. But it was raining for the first half of the day. We were wet and miserable. We all wanted to give up, go home. We just wanted to check out of our hostel and move on, forget about El Nido. ...